Public vs. private faith | Bleader

Sunday, February 18, 2007

Public vs. private faith

Posted By on 02.18.07 at 06:51 AM

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Jason Rosenhouse at Evolutionblog pays attention to the ongoing blogalogue between Andrew Sullivan (cafeteria Catholic) and Sam Harris (evangelical atheist) so you don't have to, declaring a TKO for Harris when Sullivan admits he has no rationale for his belief. Rosenhouse explains why he thinks even moderates like Sullivan need to be debated and outed as intellectually vacuous:

"To the extent that religious people are genuinely willing to make their faith a private affair I have no quarrel with them at all. The problem is that religious belief so rarely remains private. Our society is littered with the fruits of religious lunacy, from squabbles over science education, prohibitions against potentially life-saving medical research, laws against private consensual sexual practices, pervasive bigotry towards atheists, and on and on. Somehow the ostensibly private religious beliefs of others leach out into the public policy reservoir from which all of must drink.

"I am often lectured about how the theological moderates like Sullivan, the ones who do not want to inflict their religious beliefs on others, actually represent the mainstream of American religious life. The results of elections for the last two decades do not bear that out."

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